R.I.P Mindlab =(


#1

Mindlab in Denmark, one of the earliest (?) pioneers of human centered design in public policy, announced it is shutting down… http://mind-lab.dk/en

Due to political priorities MindLab is shutting down May 1st. However the Ministry of Business, Industry, and Financial Affairs will continue its dedicated work with innovation and digital transformation with the establishment of a disruption task force.

Anyone know what happened? It’s an important reminder that as a Lab, part of the focus must be on survival and generating value for both citizens and sponsors, lest similar fate befalls you… And what is survival? Growing in the size of the Lab, replicating the Lab, or infusing the Lab DNA back into your parent government agency (a bit cliched)?!?

Thanks Mindlab, you were a pioneer and an inspiration to me and many of us in Singapore!


#2

Me super sad too that they are shutting down.:sob::sob::sob: They paved the way for innovation labs in governments all over the world, even before innovation labs were a thing. Pioneers and trailblazers indeed. I thought their closing and reasons for doing so were foretelling of the challenges that labs will face. Really hope they will share more in the coming weeks… Maybe we can invite anyone we know from Mindlab to come here and share? We’ll all benefit from learning from their experience…

@leon do you know anyone there? Or anyone knows anyone in Mindlab?


#3

Had some recent conversation with friends in the govt sector… And their sentiments is that DT is a ‘passe’ in the govt sector and the govt is quickly jumping into the bandwagon of BI and Lean and felt DT to be slightly ‘intangible’. Well, this is jus the sentiments of a small group with whom I had chatted with.


#4

@giecheong Interesting point about BI (behavioural insights) and Lean Startup. I wonder if the interest in BI and Lean is indicative of where design is lacking in terms of what public officers need to make well-considered and evidenced-based policy and to engage stakeholders (internal and external). Perhaps the ‘fad’ is inevitable, since design alone is not enough? And policy folks are simply bringing in what they need to tackle complex issues in innovative ways?

If it’s just one tool within the entire policy-maker’s toolbox, then perhaps it’s not about design being passe or not, but just knowing when to use which tool for maximum utility and impact.

What do you guys think, @leon @giecheong?


#5

@Jason I knew the previous head, Christian, but he’s know at the Danish Design Council (DDC), so unfortunately don’t know anyone else. But as designers, I’m sure out of the blue linkedin messages would be looked at. Just which Govt. agency is willing to sponsor their trip?

@giecheong So true, I also hear/sense that DT is ‘buzz’ and Behavioural Insights is the new focus (and rightly so, it is powerful when done well)

I also hear /sense the new kid on the block is anything “agile-”… its the new in-thing!


#6

@leon haha would you like to try messaging Christian Bason on LinkedIn to ask if he knows what happened? (long shot :laughing:)

Re: agile, yes it seems to be building momentum. “Agile policy” is a thing now:

Would love to see a team being able to blend all these approaches together seamlessly. Do you know any?